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Day one in the long leaf pine savannah

Friday, 6 January 2012

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                               Uf-dah!  It was a pretty foggy morning as Emma and I did her first outs.

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I was hoping for one of those spectacular sunrises as the sun starts burning through the fog, but it was not to be.  The fog was just too dense.

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We were socked in until almost noon.  The forecast for tomorrow morning is the same, but I’ll be prepared with the camera just in case the weather guessers are wrong.  As long as I don’t have to drive in it, I can appreciate the fog.  It really softens the winter landscape.

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As I headed to headquarters around 10:00, I found fellow volunteers Al and Phyllis on duty with a special assignment.  They were both posted at the entrance to the parking lot to caution walkers about the speed bumps, and to hand out water… just like in a marathon race.

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There were about 60 participants in this morning’s exercise.  They are all members of fire crews from the refuge, and from the state of Mississippi.  Just like PT requirements for the Army, fire crews have to demonstrate fitness as well.  Each fire person had to walk a three mile course in 45 minutes.  That might not sound too difficult to some, but do you see the vests they are wearing?  Each of those vests contain 45 lbs. of lead in them.  So, it’s not as easy as it may look.  I just might (probably not) be able to do three miles in 45 minutes, but certainly not packing an additional 45 lbs.  I’ve seen fire crews in action, both here and in Yellowstone, and believe me it’s a physically demanding job.

This afternoon I tackled setting up the DISH, my trucker’s antenna, and the propane extend a stay.  It took me just about three hours to finally find a hole in the forest big enough to get a signal through.  I had to use the full 100’of cable to find that spot.  It was a most trying experience.

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So what was Emma doing while I made my 8000 trips down the path and back trying to find a signal?  She spent her time sniffing, digging, and rooting around in the leaf debris making a comfy place to lie down.  I wonder if I could train her to sniff out a satellite signal?  It’s about time she started carrying her weight around here.  Winking smile

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

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